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My playwright’s message: One has the nagging feeling that the label of “classic” some have attached to this work is not fully deserved until it has been produced a few more times. Nevertheless, in this society of the new and the disposable, having the play resurrected for its third staging can be nothing less than gratifying.

I wrote this in the early 90’s, when I was rather innocent, having thought that “art” had the capacity to change society. Society has changed since then, but not always for the better and not by any measure because of the arts. We – or I – thought rather naively that the audience wanted more than song and dance, more than entertainment. But it has come to pass that song and dance is what they really – and largely – wanted. Artists today are in the unenviable position of talking about a variety of things to an audience which seek only one thing, a good night out before they go on to supper at Newton or Adam Road and the rest of their lives-as-usual the next day. Not to denigrate ABBA, whose songs I can sing along to, admittedly rather badly, as happily as anyone else of my vintage, but it is rather symptomatic of our present time and place that a government minister no less could inveigh a gathering of theatre companies to stop indulging themselves with work that is too deep but to instead “do” Mama Mia!

My immense gratitude to Casey, Robin and Jeremiah – and of course also to the hardworking students of the NUS Theatre Studies Class for putting on the show.

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